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Singtel puts Hill St site up for sale

SINGAPORE Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) has put up its Hill Street property for sale through a tender to be conducted by CBRE.

Singtel has been granted provisional permission for redevelopment of the property into a hotel project with a plot ratio (ratio of maximum gross floor area or GFA to land area) of 3.5.

The property comprises two adjoining land plots, Lots 9K and 99P of TS 10, with a combined land area of about 39,738 sq ft. The maximum allowable GFA is about 139,084 sq ft.The plots are currently zoned for "utility" use in Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014.

"The sites are offered for sale based on a 99-year leasehold tenure and the differential premium for change of use and lease top-up premium will apply," property consulting group CBRE said in a news release on Tuesday.

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The property is being marketed through a public tender that will close on Dec 13. CBRE is the exclusive adviser for the public tender.

It did not give any indication of pricing in its release. According to market watchers, the indicative pricing may be about S$100 million. This works out to nearly S$1,700 per square foot per plot ratio inclusive of an estimated S$108 million payable to the state in differential premium for change of use and a further S$27 million for topping up the site's lease.

Galven Tan, director of capital markets at CBRE, said: "Hotel development sites in the Central Area are rarely available. The last hotel site that was sold was along Cuscaden Road. The sale in 2016 achieved a land price of S$2,145 psf ppr." The prime-district Cuscaden plot, a freehold property, was sold to Hong Kong-listed Shun Tak Holdings.

Mr Tan added: "As part of the government's strategy to avoid oversaturation in the market, new hotel supply had been limited for the last few years."

Singtel's Hill Street property is next to the luxury hotel, The Patina, Capitol Singapore, which has yet to open; it is also a stone's throw from the Grand Park City Hall. "It is also located in an area fast becoming "young and hip" with a strong entrepreneurial and start-up vibe with universities, incubators and co-working spaces coming up," CBRE said in its release.

The future hotel development on the Hill Street site will be able to offer guests panoramic views of Marina Bay, Fort Canning and the Civic District.